Frederick A. Shannon

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Frederick A. Shannon
Frederick Albert Shannon

(1921-05-04)May 4, 1921
Mount Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa, USA
Died31 August 1965(1965-08-31) (aged 44)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Cause of deathRattlesnake envenomation
Resting placeWickenburg Cemetery, Wickenburg, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Plot: section 2 row O space 3
Alma materUniversity of Illinois
Occupationherpetologist and medical doctor
ChildrenDavid, and Lorelei Fredericka

Frederick A. Shannon (May 4, 1921 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa – August 31, 1965 in Los Angeles County, California) was a U.S. herpetologist and medical doctor.

He was born the son of Fred Albert Shannon and Edna M. (Jones) Shannon.

In 1939, Shannon moved to Champaign, Illinois, and began studying zoology at the University of Illinois, where he got a B.A. in zoology in 1943. He then started studying medicine and got an M.D. in 1947. He practised for one year at the St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, before going back to Illinois for some post-graduate herpetology work. In 1949 he moved to Wickenburg, Arizona.

Between 1951 and 1953, Shannon was sent as a lieutenant to Korea, where he still found opportunities to collect many reptile specimens. Back in the U.S., he published many articles on poisonous snake bites, venomology, and herpetology. From 1956 on, he collected specimens mainly in Mexico.

He died from the bite of a Mojave rattlesnake he had attempted to catch.[1]

Shannon is commemorated in the scientific names of two lizards: Sceloporus shannonorum and Urosaurus graciosus shannoni. The specific name, shannonorum, which is genitive plural, honors both Shannon and his wife.[2]


  1. ^ California Death Index
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Shannon", p. 241).

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